Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

What sort of secrets are ok in a relationship?

(25 Posts)
CatMilkMan Tue 30-Jun-15 18:14:06

I have a secret that I haven't told DP it's something that happened to me when I was a child and not telling her also involved a small lie.

I feel like I'm ok with what has happened and it doesn't effect who I am, I generally don't care about it BUT if I told DP she would really care and she would definitely want to talk about it a lot and probably try to involve other people.
I don't like deliberately keeping something from her and I know I'm doing this completely selfishly but I also think that she doesn't need to know.

Sometimes if we discuss a subject that reminds me of it I wonder if I should tell her and I wonder if eventually I will tell her, so should I just get it out of the way now?

pocketsaviour Tue 30-Jun-15 18:20:48

I am of course guessing here, but if you have been the victim of abuse of some sort as a child, or a very traumatic incident, the decision on whether to tell anyone is entirely yours.

However...
if I told DP she would ... probably try to involve other people.
Does this mean that there might be a child or children at risk in the picture somewhere?

IPlayBass Tue 30-Jun-15 18:26:12

I read it as the dp might want the op to report it, get the police involved etc/confront the abuser?

CatMilkMan Tue 30-Jun-15 18:26:56

No children are in any danger! Getting other people involved would be wanting me to speak to a psychiatrist and possibly the police.

NoArmaniNoPunani Tue 30-Jun-15 18:38:51

I think if she's the person you intend to be with long term then you should probably tell her. I'd hate to think my DH was keeping anything big from me.

pocketsaviour Tue 30-Jun-15 18:45:51

As long as nobody is at risk, then as I said the decision is totally up to you.

The only thing I would say is, if you told her a small lie so as not to disclose this, is she likely to ever have contact with anyone who would contradict that?

forumdonkey Tue 30-Jun-15 18:51:09

If it has no baring on you, your relationship or future there is no need to disclose anything to her unless you want to tell her, especially as you were a child.

In a very similar sounding situation, I had an ex disclose something to me that he'd never told anyone before due to it been related to my job. After we spoke he said he didn't want to talk about, I respected that but he knew if ever he'd have wanted to I would have supported and talked it through again.

Why do you think that you would have to take things further just because you told her? Why would she not respect your decision to deal with it as you want?

mynewpassion Tue 30-Jun-15 18:55:21

I would not tell unless it affects your relationship or you, for that matter. I'm private like that.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jun-15 19:13:58

there is stuff my husband doesn't know about me and we have been married for 22 years

he doesn't own all my experiences

some of it would shock him and make him hurt for me...I believe it is my business alone unless I want to confide in him and I don't

CatMilkMan Tue 30-Jun-15 21:07:16

Thankyou for taking the time to reply,

Forum donkey-"Why do you think that you would have to take things further just because you told her? Why would she not respect your decision to deal with it as you want?"

For me what happened isn't a big deal at all I'm not even upset about it but to some people it would be a big deal and to her it would be a massive deal.
I'm sure she would respect what I want but I know deep down she would want to talk about it so I would.

Joysmum Tue 30-Jun-15 21:17:06

I didn't tell my dh if my rape for a good 10 years into the relationship, it explains a lot about how I am now. He knew who I was as we'd been friends since school, he didn't know why.

I told him because I needed to tell somebody. If you don't then don't but when you do your DW will be hurt that you were hurt, hurt because you could tell her earlier and hurt because she would want to take it away but can't. I found it hard dealing with his hurt along with mine.

I'm glad I did tell though.

CatMilkMan Tue 30-Jun-15 21:22:51

Sorry that happened to you joy, it makes me realise how lucky I was.

I'm lucky that what happened to me wasn't that bad but I know it would hurt her and I don't want to see that. Which is why I feel selfish about it all.

CatMilkMan Tue 30-Jun-15 21:24:23

Pocketsaviour- "The only thing I would say is, if you told her a small lie so as not to disclose this, is she likely to ever have contact with anyone who would contradict that?"
No and to be honest it's probably quite a common lie.

ohthegoats Tue 30-Jun-15 21:42:36

Loads of things are OK to keep secret I think. I've not got anything nasty, but lots of small stuff.

mommyof23kids Wed 01-Jul-15 05:29:12

I have all sorts of things I haven't told my dh. Actually I don't think he would believe me anyway, I'm pretty sure that if I told anyone who has only known me from my 30s to now would not believe me.
Maybe if I make it to old age I'll write it all down and shock the crap out of everyone.

TheDowagerCuntess Wed 01-Jul-15 05:38:20

Nothing bad has ever happened to me, but I still haven't told DH about every single experience I've ever had. They're not relevant to our relationship, I guess.

I did tell him something fairly big, and he was the first person I told, because I didn't want it to be a secret between us. So I think it depends on what it is, and whether it's on a need to know basis. Not everybody needs to know everything, but sometimes a secret shared is a weight off.

Sorry - no advice, but flowers

SanityClause Wed 01-Jul-15 06:12:24

DH told me some things about his childhood after we had been together about 20 years that explained a lot. He wanted to put them in a box and move on, but these things have continued to affect his life. I can be more understanding of him now that I know about them.

You say you are okay with what happened, but are you really? Have you dealt with it, or just buried it?

I didn't feel angry or hurt that my DH hadn't told me, though. He has a perfect right to privacy, as do I.

phoenixrose314 Wed 01-Jul-15 06:22:22

DH and I both shared some childhood traumas. Both involving some kind of abuse. We got over it, we both felt better for sharing - I would love to have explored my DH's past more as I feel it has restricted him in many ways, but he has sent me clear signals that he has no interest in opening up that can of worms, so I respect that.

I'd hope that if you explained to DP that you want to share this with her ONLY so you have no secrets from each other, but not because you want anything further to happen, she would respect that also.

Fletcherl Wed 01-Jul-15 06:38:32

It is up to you wether you tell or not. It is also ok to say to your partner that you want them just to listen and you are not at a point where comment or suggestions would be what you need.

MotherFluffer Wed 01-Jul-15 16:14:32

I don't know if it's 'OK' but you're not alone - I have a big secret and sometimes wonder whether I should tell DH because I'm usually all for openness. I think it would affect how he saw me and it might make him question if he wanted to stay with me. Maybe I should have told him earlier and allowed him to choose but it was hard to ruin his happiness and I would say that what I did doesn't at all affect our relationship, future etc and would not happen again. It's not me, I'm a different person now. On that basis, I've kept it quiet...

thatsn0tmyname Wed 01-Jul-15 16:20:05

If you are coping with your childhood experience and it's not affecting your mental health or your relationship then I would keep it to yourself. Telling others could start a fire if they insist you go to the police or counselling and, however well intentioned, pester you. Depends on the relationship with your wife.

Rivercam Wed 01-Jul-15 16:20:34

We have all had a past, been in other relationships, had different experiences etc. Your partner doesn't need to know everything about you. You don't have to disclose anything if you don't want to. The past can stay in the past.

TummyButtonFluff Thu 02-Jul-15 01:43:17

I feel an odd-ball here - DH knows everything about me and me about him (I think). I prefer it that way, but up to you.

MrsV2012 Thu 02-Jul-15 02:14:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FredaMayor Thu 02-Jul-15 10:41:07

I don't like deliberately keeping something from her - then don't

I know I'm doing this completely selfishly - that could be true

I also think that she doesn't need to know - how do you know that? Are you confusing that with a desire not to tell?

IME secrets are corrosive, and people are less judgemental of those they love than you might imagine. Since this has been bothering you, I think you should be honest.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now